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EUROPEAN-SOCIOLOGIST  September 2005

EUROPEAN-SOCIOLOGIST September 2005

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Subject:

Call for Paper: Organizing the Public Realm

From:

Tommaso Vitale <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Tommaso Vitale <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 6 Sep 2005 20:21:06 +0200

Content-Type:

multipart/alternative

Parts/Attachments:

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text/plain (156 lines) , text/enriched (254 lines)

2006 The Organizing Society - The 22nd EGOS Colloquium 2006
http://www.egosnet.org/conferences/collo22/colloquium_2006.shtml

Sub-theme 22: Organizing the Public Realm

Convenors:
Vando Borghi - Department of Sociology, University of Bologna, Italy  
[log in to unmask]
Daniel Cefai - University of Paris X – Nanterre, France   
[log in to unmask]
Ota de Leonardis -  University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy   
[log in to unmask]

Deadline for submission of abstracts: 6 January 2006.
Abstracts (800 words) must be submitted online via the EGOS web.
   
  Call for papers: 

The public realm - as a sphere of several intersecting processes and 
agencies – has been characterised in the last decades by many 
substantial transformations. According to many observers, the public 
realm can be referred to as (1) the social property (public services; 
public access to the concrete conditions of social citizenship, such as 
health, social protection, education, etc.) and as (2) the possibility 
of having voice in the process of constituting the public good (the 
idea of public interest requiring collectivised expression; the public 
as public sphere, according to debates opened by Dewey, Habermas, 
etc.).

We have witnessed significant changes in the structures and processes 
of defining and enacting the public realm. This takes place in spaces, 
times and practices of the public in itself, and in the fields of 
social and labour market policies; business and economic activities; 
public administration; health services and so on. The role and activity 
of both private and public organisations and institutions have been 
deeply reshaped. The change ‘from government to governance’, on the one 
hand, and the transformations of private organisations on the other are 
both relevant in the metamorphosis of the public realm.

These transformations come from many different sources:
	• 	
The introduction of market-like practices in public institutions;
	• 	
An increasing plurality of actors involved in the organisation of the 
public realm;
	• 	
New demands for de-standardised and individualised services/goods;
	• 	
A redefinition of citizens in terms of consumers;
	• 	
A growing attention to the environmental and social limits to economic 
action

The relationship between public and private can develop in different 
directions. There has been a shift of social responsibilities from the 
collective to the private sphere and also a rising emphasis on 
corporate social responsibility. These are examples of divergent 
development trends in the relationship between the private and public 
spheres. Of course, some of these trends may be taking place on a 
(political) rhetorical level. Social discourses have to be part of the 
inquired processes, however, since they are not separable from the 
organisational phenomena to which they refer.

Important organisational and institutional changes can be explored and 
discussed. Relevant questions that may be addressed are:  
	• 	
What does organising the public realm mean today? Which kind of 
institutional actions, processes, spaces, subjects, forms of 
co-ordination among actors, etc. can we appropriately classify as 
public? In which way is the public restructured as a place for 
organizing a discourse in the interest of the ‘public good’?
	• 	
The convergent / divergent paths in the public-private relationship: 
How has the relationship between the private and the public sphere been 
reshaped during the last decades? Do we see different development 
trends in different contexts?
	• 	
What role does the shift ‘from government to governance’ play in this 
picture?
	• 	
The social effects of organisational and institutional changes: How do 
these changes affect social daily life? In which ways are gender 
relationships affected?
	• 	
The public relevance of private (economic) organizations: How do 
private firms influence the public realm?

About the convenors:

Vando Borghi (email: [log in to unmask]) is Researcher at the Dept. 
of Sociology, University of Bologna. He works at the Faculty of 
Political Sciences, where he teaches “Sociology of Organization” and 
“Organization and Entrepreneurship”. He is a member of the ‘core group’ 
of the Active Social Policy European Network 
(http://aspen.fss.uu.nl/en) and collaborates with the research centre 
Sui Generis – Laboratorio di ricerca sociologica sull’azione pubblica – 
Università di Milano-Bicocca. He is also secretary of the International 
Centre for Documentation and Sociological Studies on Labour Issues 
(C.I.Do.S.Pe.L. - Dept. of Sociology, University of Bologna;    
http://www.cidospel.com ) and board secretary of the journal 
“Sociologia del lavoro”. His main research interests are about 
relationships between economic spheres of social action and daily life, 
and between citizenship and organizational/institutional processes. 
 From this perspective, he is doing research on changing relationships 
between work and welfare; the metamorphoses of work organization and 
the labour market; social vulnerability; and institutional and 
administrative cultures. He recently published: (Ed.), Vulnerabilità, 
inclusione sociale e lavoro, Angeli, Milano, 2002; (with Mauro Magatti, 
Eds.),  Mercato e società. Introduzione alla sociologia economica, 
Carocci, Roma, 2002. With Rik van Berkel, presented a paper at the  
20th European Group for Organisational Studies’ (Lubljana, 30 giugno- 3 
luglio 2004), entitled New modes of governance in Italy and the 
Netherlands: the case of activation policies, now revised and 
forthcoming in “Public Administration”. 

Daniel Cefai (email: [log in to unmask]) is Professor of Sociology 
at the University of Paris X – Nanterre. His main research interests 
are in the field of public and collective action, especially 
participation in associations and local committees. In this field he 
edited books such as Cultures politiques, PUF, 2000; Les formes de 
l’action collective. Mobilisations dans des arènes publiques, Editions 
de l’Ehess, 2001 (with Danny Trom); L’héritage du pragmatisme. Conflits 
d’urbanité et épreuves de civisme, Editions de l'Aube, 2002 (with Isaac 
Joseph); Le sens du public, PUF, 2003 (with Dominique Pasquier). He is 
also writing about qualitative methodology for studying collective 
action. In this field he recently edited L'enquete de terrain, La 
Découverte, 2003. 

Ota de Leonardis (email:   [log in to unmask]  is Professor of 
Sociology of Cultural Processes at the University of Milano-Bicocca. 
She is the Director of the MSc programme “Local Development and Social 
Quality - Training in policies, organizations and programmes dealing 
with critical situations” (http://www.sociologia.unimib.it/mastersqs/), 
and is also the Director of the Research Centre of Sociological Studies 
on Public Action Sui Generis – Laboratorio di ricerca sociologica 
sull’azione pubblica – University of Milano-Bicocca. She has been 
member of many local and national consulting committees for the reform 
of psychiatric and prison systems, and is a member of scientific 
committees for many different journals in the area of social policy and 
political studies. Her main interests of research are focused on the 
theory and epistemology of institutions, organizations and institutions 
in local systems of governance and in institution-building processes, 
cultures and practices of social justice in the social policies, 
transformations of public sphere, new cultural conflicts and new 
patterns of conflict solution. Some of her recent publications on these 
topics include a book on welfare and its institutional and 
organizational issues,entitled In un diverso welfare. Sogni ed incubi, 
Feltrinelli, Milano; the introductory book to the study of 
institutions, entitled Le istituzioni, Carocci, Roma, 2001; and the 
article “Social Market, Social Quality and the Quality of Social 
Institutions”, in European Journal of Social Quality, 1, 2000.

Guidelines for submission of abstracts/papers: 
http://www.egosnet.org/conferences/sub_guidelines.shtml

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